VAT Refund Success Rate Increases by 58% with Professional Agents

In the last IVA Spring Conference in Düsseldorf, we had the opportunity to attend the Foreign VAT Refunds presentation where Countries’ Tax Authorities shared their respective comments regarding VAT Refunds. Among the many insightful presentations, the findings from the HMRC stood out, particularly regarding the difference between agent and claimant VAT submission results. This article will explore these findings and highlight the significant benefits of using professional claim agents for VAT submissions.

Key Findings: higher success rate for agent submissions

HMRC, the UK’s tax authority, highlighted a remarkable statistic: using professional claim agents results in a 58% higher success rate for VAT refunds compared to direct submissions by claimants. This significant difference underscores the value that claim agents bring to the VAT refund process.

The Role of Professional Claim Agents and the reasons for better results


Professional claim agents are specialists who manage the VAT submission process on behalf of businesses. Their expertise and experience allow them to navigate the complex landscape of VAT regulations efficiently. Many direct claimants struggle with the intricate paperwork and specific requirements, often leading to errors and delays.

Several factors contribute to the higher success rate achieved by professional claim agents:

  • Accurate and Timely Submissions: Claim agents ensure that all submissions are accurate and submitted within the required timeframe.
  • In-depth Knowledge: They possess comprehensive knowledge of VAT regulations and requirements, reducing the likelihood of errors.
  • Efficient Documentation Handling: Claim agents manage documentation and evidence effectively, ensuring that all necessary information is included.
  • Proactive Communication: They maintain proactive communication with tax authorities, addressing any issues promptly.

The following chart illustrates the primary reasons for refusal in VAT claimant submissions.

The data clearly highlights the various challenges businesses face when submitting VAT claims independently. Common issues such as out-of-time invoices, inadequate documentation, and lack of timely responses to inquiries frequently result in refusals. These obstacles not only lead to lost refunds but also consume valuable time and resources. This is where professional claim agents come in.

Benefits of Using Professional Claim Agents

Engaging professional claim agents offers numerous advantages beyond the increased success rate of VAT refunds.

  • Time-saving: Businesses can save significant time by outsourcing the intricate and time-consuming VAT submission process. This allows internal teams to focus on core business activities rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.
  • Increased Refund Likelihood: Businesses are more likely to receive the full amount of their VAT refunds, thanks to the thorough and accurate documentation provided by claim agents.
  • Peace of Mind: By leveraging professional agents, businesses gain peace of mind, knowing that their VAT compliance is in expert hands, minimizing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Leveraging VAT Tech for Better Refunds

Professional claim agents are increasingly using VAT technology to automate many aspects of the VAT submission process.

VAT management technologies automate many aspects of the VAT submission process, from data collection to submission. Technology, including AI, has stepped up in the VAT industry to help ensure accuracy, reduce the time spent on manual processes, and improve overall compliance. By integrating VAT tech with professional claim agent services, businesses can further optimize their VAT refund processes, resulting in even higher efficiency and better outcomes.

Benefits of Using VAT Tech

  • Real-time Data Collection: Seamless integration with financial systems to collect data in real-time, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
  • Automated Invoice Validation: VAT tech automatically verifies that invoices meet all necessary regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of non-compliance.
  • Document Verification: Automatic checks to ensure all required documents are present and correctly formatted before submission.
  • Regulation Updates: Continuously updates compliance criteria based on the latest VAT regulations and standards, ensuring submissions are always current.
  • Timely Submissions: Automated reminders and scheduling features to ensure VAT returns are submitted on time.

Did you know?

BZSt, Germany’s tax authority, receives between 125,000 and 130,000 VAT refund claims per annum.

In France, 1.847 billion euros were reclaimed in 2023, with 93% from the EU and 7% from non-EU countries.

In Belgium, 25% of VAT refund claims were submitted through agents, while 75% were submitted directly by claimants.

The main reason for VAT refund refusals in the UK is the failure to provide compliant documentation.

At VAT4U, we offer businesses both the technology and the expertise they need. Our VAT4U SmartAI technology platform helps in-house teams streamline VAT management and submission processes.

VAT4U’s Outsourcing service provides travelers, HR and finance departments with complete relief from the complexities of VAT management. We even offer a hybrid package that grants full access to the VAT4U SmartAI platform at an organizational level, allowing each entity or country to decide whether to manage their VAT processes internally or outsource them to VAT4U’s team of VAT experts.

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